Analytics – What will change in Russia with new Minister of Defense?

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who won a significant victory in the presidential election in March with 88% of the vote, received the support of his people in determining the future course of the country. After the election, the Russian government, led by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, resigned, as is customary. It is worth noting that Putin continued to work with Mishustin, but made a number of changes to the government. And one of the most important such changes was undoubtedly the removal from the post of Sergey Shoigu and the appointment of economist Andrei Belousov. Having highlighted Belousov, known as a loyal Technicard, Putin thereby gave a signal that Russia was determined to continue the war in Ukraine, and also strengthened its positions in domestic policy. And this decisive position of the Kremlin will have important consequences both within Russia and at the regional and global level in the coming period. This is stated in an article by Doctor of Sciences Muhammet Kochak, teacher of the Institute of Regional Studies of the University of Social Sciences of Ankara, written for the Anadola analytics department.

– portraits of two different ministers of defense

Sergey Shoigu, who has served as Minister of Defense since 2012, is not a figure that can be an alternative to the government because of its Tuvin-Turkic origin. Since Shoigu does not have a military education, the probability that he posed a threat to Putin’s rule, acting in coordination with the army is small. At the same time, he stood out as a successful politician thanks to his technocratic approach. During the Shoigu leadership, the Russian army played an important role in strengthening the foreign policy of Russia in various corners of the world, especially in Syria, Libya and Ukraine. Although Shoigu, like many bureaucrats of his period, devoted their duty, the rebellion of the Wagner group, which arose last year due to the heavy losses of Russia in the war in Ukraine and accusations of corruption, weakened its position. As a result, Shoigu was removed from the post of Minister of Defense after the election of 2024, but retained his position in the Kremlin ruling elite, taking the post of chairman of the Security Council. Meanwhile, Belousov, whose name is not among the first persons who come to mind from among the Russian ruling elite, contrary to the fact that in recent years he held important posts, came to politics in the 2000s. In the 1990s, a Russian politician was engaged in scientific activities. In 2012, he held the post of Minister of Economic Development of Russia in the first government of Dmitry Medvedev, in 2020 he was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in the Government of Mishustin. Belousov, who does not belong to any of the “click” inside the Kremlin, stands out by his fidelity to Putin and a technocratic approach, like Prime Minister Mishustin. And in this regard, Belousov is expected to fight corruption within the army, as well as effective management of the provision of the needs of the Armed Forces by reviving a military economy that has difficulty due to sanctions.